Increased Police Surveillance of Activist Conference

Sun, 25 Aug 1996 05:21:56 -0500 (CDT) -- Chicago

Contrary to their public statements that they would use a hands-off
approach in dealing with activists during the Democratic national
Convention, Chicago police have stepped up surveillance on Active
Resistance, a convention of more than 600 activists meeting here this
week.  Active Resistance is a national gathering of activists, primarily
anarchists, who have come to Chicago to develop viable alternatives to
mainstream institutions.  They are doing so by holding hundreds of
seminars, sessions, and Do-It-Yourself "Free Skools"  from August 21st
through August 31st, on subjects such as community living, decentralized
media, participatory economics and other issues.  Though Active Resistance
participants are politically active, Active Resistance itself is not
planning any demonstrations during the DNC. 

Chicago police have been following AR participants in unmarked cars,
demanding to see the group's lease for its meeting place, and 
intimidating individual participants.  On Thursday afternoon, for
example, three plainclothes police accosted two Active Resistance
participants, pressing them against a car and saying, "White boys
go home."  The officers described their pretense for searching the
AR participants as "not looking like they belonged in this neighborhood."
Plain clothes surveillance has inceased markedly over the last two
days.  AR participants accept further "attention" as the DNC begins.

Related Material: Press Conference on Police Harassment

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